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POCO M4 Pro 5G Review: A Deal Too Good To Be True!

POCO might be a relatively young brand that was founded barely more than three years ago in August 2018. However, the company has been quick in establishing it’s presence in the smartphone world thanks to it’s line of ultra-value smartphones that are way too difficult to go unnoticed by mainstream consumers.

The company’s commitment to make good phones accessible to consumers is something that remains unchanged over the course of it’s growth, despite the ongoing component shortages in the supply chain which probably took a toll on it’s already tight profit margin.

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This is well-evidenced by the company’s latest releases that include the brand new POCO M4 Pro 5G which was launched in Singapore last month with a bargain-basement price starting at just S$299.

On paper, the POCO M4 Pro 5G is a deal that appears too good to be true. However, does all the impressive specs pan out nicely in real-life usage? Let’s find out in our POCO M4 Pro 5G Review!

Design

Earlier this year, we have seen how POCO managed to come out with it’s own bespoke, dual-tone design for the POCO M3 Pro 5G which makes the phone easily recognizable even in the sea of smartphones.

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The newly announced POCO M4 Pro sticks with the same design ethos that gives the phone a bit of it’s own personality and uniqueness that stands out from those identical-looking smartphones within the budget segment.

For the Cool Blue variant that we had for review, it’s indeed a cool-looking device which features a subtle, but yet beautiful gradient effect on it’s rear panel. Compared to the flashy POCO Yellow colorway, this model looks more understated and is great for those who doesn’t want to attract extra attentions on their smartphone.

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Apart from it’s adoring colors, I really love the satin-like finish on it’s back panel that gives the phone a premium feel when holding it on my hands. Also, it appears to handle fingerprints and smudges amicably well – so you can be assured that the phone looks it’s best all the time.

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Coming with a thickness of around 8.75mm, the POCO M4 Pro 5G isn’t among the slimmest smartphone you’ll find in the market, but it’s neither the chunkiest as well. Along with a manageable weight of 195 grams, the POCO M4 Pro 5G does offers a decent handling experience even when using the phone one-handed in a packed train.

Quite surprisingly, the POCO M4 Pro 5G also carries an IP53 rating for dust and water resistance which allows the phone to withstand light splashes or drizzle. This is definitely a nice feature which we sadly don’t see among majority of the budget phones.

Display

Coming to the frontside, there isn’t much changes design-wise. We’re still looking at the same central hole-punched, flat display which now measures a tad larger at 6.6” diagonally, as compared to 6.5” on the POCO M3 Pro 5G.

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Just like it’s predecessor, the POCO M4 Pro 5G continues to adopt an IPS LCD panel with FHD+ screen resolution that promises sharp-looking details on the screen. Also, it retains the slick 90Hz refresh rate which makes animation and scrolling feel more fluid on the display.

What really sets the phone apart from it’s predecessor however, is the presence of a more responsive 240Hz touch sampling rate that makes the screen more sensitive to touch input. This is in fact an important feature for mobile gaming, and is especially so for FPS titles like PUBG Mobile or COD Mobile.

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On top of that, the display now supports wide DCI-P3 color gamut coverage which allows more accurate color rendering that makes movie footages appear more realistic along with richer details.

Likewise, the display is also able to hit a maximum of up to 450 nits peak brightness which is good enough to keep the screen legible in most occasion, even in a slightly brighter environment.

For extra durability, POCO had equipped it’s front display with a layer of Gorilla Glass 3 that’s able to protect the screen against accidental drop and scratches to a certain extent. This is of course another stand out feature for a budget phone which we would warmly welcome.

Performance

Sitting at the heart of the POCO M4 Pro 5G is none other than an octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 810 chipset fabricated under a flagship 6nm process. This is a neat upgrade over the 7nm Dimensity 700 chipset that was found on the POCO M3 Pro 5G.

Boasting an upgraded CPU and GPU, the POCO M4 Pro 5G isn’t just the most powerful M series smartphone launched by the company so far, but also offers the best performance within it’s price range.

On a day-to-day usage, the POCO M4 Pro 5G certainly feels snappy when working on usual tasks like scrolling though social medias or checking the latest deals on your favorite shopping app.

Most importantly, mobile gamers would probably be glad to hear that the phone is also capable of delivering a smooth game play for majority of the game titles including those that are more graphically demanding like PUBG Mobile – as long you don’t maxed out their graphics.

Despite the lack of advance cooling system, the phone doesn’t appears to show any sign of overheating even during prolonged gaming sessions. That’s no doubt a commendable feat for a phone of it’s price.

Last but not the least, the POCO M4 Pro 5G also features up to 6GB RAM and 128GB built-in storage in the memory department which is pretty much a standard for a budget phone. However, it’s good to know that the phone does support storage expansion via a microSD card whenever there’s a need.

Cameras

For photography, the POCO M4 Pro 5G relies on a dual-cam system at the back which is lead by a 50 megapixels (f/1.8 aperture) main camera as well as an 8 megapixels (f/2.2 aperture) ultra-wide camera.

On the surface, this might sounds a but like a downgrade considering that the POCO M3 Pro 5G comes with three rear cameras. However, that’s certainly not the case for the POCO M4 Pro 5G which has actually received a pretty huge upgrade in it’s imaging department this time round.

Firstly, it swaps the 48MP imaging sensor on the POCO M3 Pro 5G with a slightly more capable 50MP shooter. Other than that, it finally ditches those lacklustre 2MP cameras for a more usable and versatile ultra-wide camera that’s incredibly useful for landscape photography.

In terms of photo quality, the POCO M4 Pro 5G is able to click photos with reasonably wide dynamic range and good amount of details which in my opinion, is among the best within it’s price bracket.

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Main Camera: Daylight
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Main Camera: Evening
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Main Camera: Close-up

Most of the time, photos looks natural with nice color depth and contrast without the need to shoot on HDR mode. Likewise, auto-focusing also works quite well on the main camera, making it easier for users to capture sharp-looking photos almost instantaneously.

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Night Mode
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Night Mode
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Night Mode

In low-light environment, it also comes with a neat night mode feature that does a fine job in improving exposure over the default camera mode. This results in photos that appear more vivid and detailed than what we would otherwise see in photos that are taken without the night mode on.

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Ultra Wide Mode

As for the ultra-wide camera, it’s doubtlessly a much welcomed addition to the POCO M4 Pro 5G’s camera system. Although it offers a comparatively lower resolution as compared to the main camera, but it’s still able to capture some really flattering photos that you will would gladly post on social medias.

Battery & Charging

To keep it’s lights on, the POCO M4 Pro 5G is backed by a hefty 5,000mAh battery which can easily provides you with around 1.5 day’s battery life under moderate usage. Even on days when I used the phone more extensively, it’s still difficult to push it’s battery down the 15% mark.

On the charging side of things, the POCO M4 Pro 5G features an impressive 33W fast-charging support which is currently the quickest within it’s price range. This is definitely a sweet upgrade over the 18W charging technology on the POCO M3 Pro 5G.

During my testing, a full charge from 0 to 100% takes slightly more than an hour using the bundled 33W charging adapter. That’s really fast considering that most budget phones take around two hours for a full charge.

Verdict

The POCO M4 Pro 5G is a phone that pretty much blurred the line between entry-level and mid-range devices. Although it carries a launch price that’s usually associated to entry-level smartphones, but the performance and features that the phone offers are stuffs that we only see among the mid-range models that sit above the S$450 mark. This is why I think it’s fitting to describe the POCO M4 Pro 5G as a deal that’s too good to be true.

Just like any other POCO smartphones, the POCO M4 Pro 5G comes with everything you need, nothing you don’t – making it a perfect option for anyone who’s looking for an affordable but yet capable smartphone.

In terms of pricing, the POCO M4 Pro 5G is priced at S$299 and S$349 respectively for it’s 4GB+64GB and 6GB+128GB trims. It will be available for purchase in Singapore via both Shopee and Lazada.

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